Home / Internet Marketing News / Work Trip Meets Mini Getaway: A Marketer’s Guide to Vancouver for Call to Action Conference

Work Trip Meets Mini Getaway: A Marketer’s Guide to Vancouver for Call to Action Conference

Conferences, conferences everywhere. SearchLove here, INBOUND there. There’s no shortage of great marketing conferences to choose from, but you’ve likely got a finite budget your marketing department can put toward them. How are you supposed to know which Martech events are the best bang for your buck?

We’ll make it easy for you. I mean, sure, we’re biased, but hear us out. This August’s fifth annual Call to Action Conference is not only:

  • Less expensive than most conferences of its caliber (tickets range from $749—$999 CAD), it’s also
  • designed for high-impact learning: you walk away with leading-edge tactics you can actually use when you get back to the office.

But the cherry atop the already awesome two days? The conference is held in one of the most beautiful cities on earth, Vancouver, BC.

Image: Tourism Vancouver/ Barbershop Films

And not in an “it’s our hometown so we have to say it’s beautiful (lest we be Game of Thrones-style shamed in the streets)” way, either. It really is amazing: the ocean, the mountains, the diverse food scene, the beer-snob-approved breweries, and awe-inspiring wilderness that makes you forget about your inbox. There’s a reason tourists flock here in droves and I willingly pay a crazy amount in rent.

CTAConf 2018 also takes place in peak sunshine season, August 27-29th. So why not mix business with pleasure?

Many past attendees and speakers have added a few extra days on to their CTAConf excursion to enjoy this city. And if you’d like to do the same, we’ve created a visitor’s guide to CTAConf 2018 sourced from local influencers, this year’s speakers, past attendees, and our own favourite to-dos. See the pro’s suggestions below for turning this August’s work trip into a well-deserved getaway.

Wanna attend CTAConf for free? Scroll down to tweet this post for a chance to win a complementary ticket to CTAConf 2018, $500 toward your travel, and a “Destination Experience Pass” for free access to all local and many out-of-town attractions valued at $2000, courtesy of Tourism Vancouver.

If you’ll be around a couple extra days…

The Call to Action Conference, insofar as the speaker’s talks, takes place August 28—29th at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. There’s also an optional day of hands-on marketing workshops on August 27th at Unbounce HQ. If you tack on the weekend days before to your trip, or an extra few days at the end of the conference, here are some itinerary options to fill up your stay:

See the sea, walk the wall

Hands down, a walk, bike or run along the seawall is a must-do for every Vancouver visitor. Flanked by the Pacific Ocean and Stanley Park, it’s easily accessible from anywhere downtown and the simplest route to absorbing Vancouver’s natural beauty.

No need to bring the gear—rent a bike at Yes Cycle or Cycle City Tours, two of many rental shops.

Image: Tourism Vancouver/ Cycle City Tours.

Tour Granville Island: the island that’s not an island

Granville Island is like a tiny world unto itself, small in square footage but big on things to see and do. Peruse an art gallery, watch a play, go on a whimsical shopping spree at the many artisanal shops, and—most importantly—eat your heart out. There are tons of restaurants to hit, and be sure to poke around the Granville Island Public Market, an overwhelming smorgasbord of local fare.

Image: Tourism Vancouver/ Clayton Perry

Have a BBQ…on a boat!

While you’re at the Granville Island Public Market, load up a picnic basket and hop on Joe’s BBQ Boat—no explanation needed. Because what’s better than floating around on the open water and soaking up the sunshine? Doing so while working up a good meat sweat. Find fellow BBQ buffs to join you in the CTAConf Facebook group and fill that boat up! Conference networking at its finest.

Me, in the BBQ boat, living my best life.

Visit an East Van brewery (or two)

With fantastic breweries boasting some of the finest craft beers in the world, a good old fashioned crawl beckons any beer lover who visits. East Vancouver is your best bet for variety and walkability. You can check out: Strange Fellows Brewing, Andina Brewing Company, Parallel 49 Brewing, Postmark Brewing, Doan’s Craft Brewing, Callister Brewing Company, and Strathcona Beer Company.

Have your best brunch

It’s no accident that I’ve placed the brunch options after the brewery crawl. Whether you’re in dire need of a greasy spoon or looking to brunch in style, we’ve got you covered. Yolks showed up on everyone’s list when we asked around for favourite brunch spots, as did Chambar, Medina Cafe, and Fable Restaurant. Jam Cafe, Wildebeest, Catch 122, and The Distillery are guaranteed to please as well. As is Canadian brunch custom, you’re required to order a Caesar. Don’t ask what’s in it.

Yolks brunch

Image via yolks.ca.

Hit the Aquarium

If it does rain, your indoor options are covered. Conveniently tucked away in Stanley Park, the Vancouver Aquarium is a must-do. See giant sea lions and playful seals, watch penguins toddle and slide around (aw!), touch a starfish or manta ray (weird!) and try to find the octopus (you can’t, he’s too sneaky) as you journey through B.C. and beyond’s underwater world.

Oh canyon, my canyon

As past speaker Wil Reynold’s knows, the Capilano Canyon suspension bridge and cliff walk is worth a few anxious moments. Just a quick jaunt across the Lions Gate Bridge (an attraction on its own!), this otherworldly spot makes it hard to believe you’re so close to the city. Not too far away is another canyon and yes, another suspension bridge in Lynn Canyon Park—a little less crowded, 100% free, and as beautiful as ever.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Image via Tourism Vancouver

Lightning round recos for day trips and more:

  • Go to Queen Elizabeth Park at sunset. It has a beautiful view of the North Shore mountains and the city from west to east. The gardens are so beautiful in full bloom in August.  – Jaclyn Cummings
  • Head up to the Sea-to-Sky Gondola! You won’t regret it. It’s very accessible for most people and the views are incredible. – Rob Bucci
  • Stay in Kitsilano. It was a beautiful area! I would probably stay there every time I visit. I’d recommend bringing the fam—it was a great city to have the kid and felt really walkable, so take advantage of that. – Wil Reynolds
  • Go to Bowen Island and spend the day exploring. It has something for everyone from hiking and biking to eating and drinking. Check out my favourite store, Branch and People. Then go eat seafood and drink a good old Canadian Caesar. – Kathleen Reid
  • Drive up to Squamish via the Sea-to-Sky Highway, stop for a burger lunch at the Watershed Grill, then head up to Whistler for dinner and drinks. The drive itself is breathtaking. It’s the journey, not the destination.-  Sandy Pell
  • I feel like the Grouse Grind is a rite of passage. But for something more mellow, I think Prospect Point at sunset is a must see! – Sunny Lenarduzzi
  • Check out Stanley Park. It is truly a unique aspect of Vancouver – the park is huge (840 acres) and wilder than one would expect. Among other things, it has a record-breaking Big Leaf Maple tree that is over 800 years old. – Michael Aagaard

If you’re here for workshop and conference days only…

Depending on whether you’ve signed up for the August 27th workshops, Monday through Wednesday will be jam-packed with marketing learning. Monday’s workshops are optional and on a first-come, first-served basis after registration is sent out to ticket holders.

Both Tuesday and Wednesday are busy with talks starting at 9am sharp. These days you likely won’t want to miss anything in the theatre (save for trips to the food trucks outside). There’s a stellar lineup gracing our stage, after all.

But, if you fancy grabbing your own breakfast or want to meet up with fellow conference-goers for dinner or drinks, there are plenty of local places to do so. Even if you aren’t tacking extra days onto your trip beyond the actual conference, you can hit up some local spots before and after Tuesday (remembering that both Monday and Wednesday evenings are the reception and after party nights respectively).

Here are some suggestions for excellent pre-and-post conference free time:

  • I loved the food at Maenam, it was so good I went twice! I also liked all the breweries in the Mount Pleasant area. – Wil Reynolds
  • Elysian Coffee bakes their own chocolate chip cookies in-house and they are incredible. They also have great coffee. – Rob Bucci
  • One of my favorite places is Forage. They have an incredible brunch menu and their dinner as absolutely amazing too. Another spot that is worth checking out for dinner/drinks is Vancouver Urban Winery – yum! – Michael Aagaard

A chance to enjoy it all for free

In partnership with the fine folks at Tourism Vancouver, we’re excited to offer the chance at a Call to Action Conference Vancouver getaway worth $3,500 CAD! This includes one ticket to CTAConf, $500 toward your travel expenses, and a “Destination Experience Pass” that gives you free access to the attractions listed here—plus many, many, many more. All you have to do is click below and tweet.

Share this post via the button provided to enter for your chance at the ultimate work trip. The contest period runs until June 28th at 11:59pm PT and one entry per person is counted.

Or—if you’re not feelin’ lucky and simply can’t miss out—grab your tickets now with an additional 15% off using the code “CTAConfVancouverat checkout. Good luck and we hope to see you in August!

*Terms and conditions apply.

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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Interactive Content Marketing: Why B2B Marketers Should Take Their Content from Boring to Bold

Why B2B Marketers Should Consider Interactive Content

Why B2B Marketers Should Consider Interactive Content

Show of hands, B2B marketers: How many of you know which Hogwarts house you belong in? Or which Disney princess best represents your personality and relationship ambitions?

via GIPHY

Don’t be shy. I’m a Gryffindor wizard through and through—and apparently, I’m more of a Jasmine than an Ariel. And I know all this thanks to the rise of interactive content.

From quirky quizzes to ROI calculators to guided eBooks, interactive content is a rising content marketing star. BuzzFeed is perhaps the most prolific example, creating dozens of quizzes each week that are making their way into social feeds and search results. (And almost all users reportedly finish them).

But why should B2B marketers consider adding interactive content to their mix?

Because B2B is often pegged as bland and boring. And in a crowded content market, not to mention the fact that buyers' content preferences are turning increasingly visual, interactive content is the next evolution.

But if that doesn't convince you, read on for a few more reasons why its time for B2B to embrace interactive content.

#1 – Interactive content is more engaging than static content—for the long-term.

Interactive content may seem a little gimmicky for some marketers—especially those in the B2B space. But the vast majority of marketers who use interactive content agree that it not only grabs attention, but can also hold that attention beyond that initial view.

In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and Ion Interactive 2017 Interactive Content Study:

  • 87% of marketers agree that interactive content grabs the attention of the reader more effectively than static content
  • 77% of marketers agree that interactive content has reusable value, resulting in repeat visitors and multiple exposures
  • 73% of marketers agree that interactive content, when combined with other more traditional content marketing tactics, enhances message retention among their audiences.

So, if you’re aiming for awareness, engagement, and attention, interactive content holds incredible potential. But I’d also add that this is only true if you deliver quality, relevant content in an interactive format.

As my colleague Josh Nite points out: “[Interactive content is] absolutely designed to grab attention. But if your content provides value—if it’s worth paying attention to—interactive elements can help you bring in an audience.”

[bctt tweet="#InteractiveContent is absolutely designed to grab attention. But if your content provides value—if it’s worth paying attention to—interactive elements can help you bring in an audience. - @NiteWrites" username="toprank"]

#2 – Interactive content can differentiate you from your competitors.

Content has always been a foundational element of B2B marketing. Buyers don’t make hard and fast decisions. Instead, they do their research, weigh their options, and have multiple engagements with sales reps before they sign on the dotted line. Interactive content can help you make an impression and stand out in a crowed, competitive content landscape.

In addition, according to the aforementioned report, just 46% of marketers report using interactive content right now—which was flat year-over-year. And if history is any indicator, I’d wager that interactive content adoption among B2B marketers is far lower since the industry is typically slower to adopt new tactics.

But that won’t always be the case. Harnessing the opportunity right now has the potential to differentiate your B2B brand from the competition early on, showcasing your commitment to innovation.

For example, Prophix, a leading provider of corporate performance management (CPM) software solutions in the FP&A industry, wanted to drive awareness in a unique way around its report on the evolution of financial planning and analysis, as well as its solutions.

By repurposing its original research and adding influencer perspectives, we created an interactive quiz to help empower their audience to "crush" their jobs to succeed now and into the future.

Prophix Crush It Interactive Quiz

This anchor asset, which was promoted using a supporting mix of blog content, social amplification, email, and more, saw a view rate 6-times higher than the benchmark for a similar resource. In addition, the page where it lived garnered 3-times the average share rate. This unique approach to interactive influencer content made Prophix stand out from the competition and deliver a great resource that performed.

#3 – Interactive tools can provide you with exclusive data and analytics.

Savvy marketers are driven by data insights. And many of the interactive content tools you’d leverage for an asset come with their own analytics dashboards, allowing you to get near real-time data on how your audience is interacting and absorbing your content.

For example, Ceros, an interactive content software that simplifies the creation process, provides all the basic KPIs such as visitors, opens, and pageviews, as well as engagement metrics like time spent and interaction clicks. But they also track inbound referrals, social shares, video plays, and outbound link clicks.

Oh, and that data is viewable in its Analytics Dashboard within second of it happening.

Ceros Interactive Content Tool

While traditional analytics platforms and the data within them is invaluable, from my perspective, this more niche data can help uncover some insights that can help you refine your asset on the fly or consider how to improve other content types moving forward.

#4 – Interactive content can drive results at every stage of the funnel.

From educating buyers to creating customer loyalty, interactive content can serve a purpose (and drive results) at every stage of the funnel. Interactive content users report using the tactic for lead generation, lead nurturing, customer retention, and the list goes on.

And interactive is especially powerful, when combined with other tried-and-true content marketing tactics.

To help promote the Influencer Marketing 2.0 report based on research conducted by Traackr, Altimeter Group and TopRank Marketing, we partnered with interactive content platform Ceros to produce an Influence 2.0 interactive infographic.

Influence 2.0

The infographic was promoted via blog posts, social channels, email, and through the influencers that contributed. With calls to action embedded within the interactive infographic, this content succeeded at attracting over 1,700 prospective customers to download the full report with a 43% conversion rate.

What Opportunity Does Interactive Content Hold for Your B2B Brand?

Interactive content is here to stay. But the real opportunity doesn’t lay in the interactivity itself. The real value creation is in the excitement or connection that you can make with your audience, as well as the potential to hold their attention for long enough to engrain your message or inspire action.

[bctt tweet="The real opportunity with #interactivecontent doesn’t lay in the interactivity itself. The real value creation is in the excitement or connection that you can make with your audience. - @CaitlinMBurgess" username="toprank"]

So, B2B marketers. If you’re ready to break away from boring and drive better engagement, interactive content deserves your consideration.

How can you leverage interactive content? Check out our post featuring five ways of making marketing magic with interactive content.

The post Interactive Content Marketing: Why B2B Marketers Should Take Their Content from Boring to Bold appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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